Julie in Eugene
Strangercrombie Donor 2009
Strangercrombie Donor 2010
Awesome Person 2011
Eugene, OR
report this user
Jul 22, 2016 Julie in Eugene commented on How Green Is Her Bullshit: An Uncharacteristically Brief Response to the Green Party Spokesperson's Dishonest Response to My Podcast Rant.
As someone who's actually been on the ground doing the hard work of state and local politics for some years now... here's my thoughts on this.

The Green Party's minor successes to date have been isolated instances, because there's no real "party" of which to speak. It's just a name, it's not an organization (at least not at the state and local level). When county and state Democratic parties are functional (and they aren't always, for sure), they do much more than just recruiting candidates to run for local races -- they organize phone banks and canvasses; they train volunteers, candidates, and campaign staff; they actively recruit, manage and engage volunteers and supporters; they provide services to candidates (the most important of which is often access to a voter file with robust data and the technology to take advantage of it); they manage an office to serve as a hub of activity; they fundraise to support all of these activities (and it's much, much harder to fundraise at the local level for party infrastructure vs. for candidates -- it's like with nonprofits, everybody wants to fund the programs but no one wants to pay the electricity bill).

It's possible to build that kind of operation without paid staff at the state/local level, in isolated instances. But, it would be difficult to rely on all-volunteer operations to actually build a party from the ground up in a systemic and organized (and durable) way. If the Greens truly want to build a viable third party in the way that Dan describes, they probably need a benefactor billionaire, who might be interested in investing $100 million to make it work. That investment would go to staff to build the infrastructure (some of it would go to contributions to candidates, although I think that's trickier for a variety of reasons). Bare minimum, to build a truly grassroots operation, you'd want an organizer in every metro area with a population >200k that's likely to be attractive to potential Green party demographics (maybe 150 or so), a management structure to support that (20 regional directors), national level operations (policy director, communications, fundraising, etc.), money for offices & other costs, etc. So, that's something like $15-20 million a year.

One of the reasons you need staff is that many people really like to talk about politics (especially national level politics), but few people like to actually do the work associated with electing candidates and even fewer like to do the work associated with managing an active local political party. You eventually need someone whose job it is to manage volunteers, raise money, deal with all the logistics of keeping the lights on. And, honestly, it's also really difficult to get qualified candidates willing to actually run for many local offices -- they're not as sexy as state/national offices, they're often unpaid, and it can involve a huge amount of work to win them. The Democratic Party has an operation that's willing to find politically-minded people and cajole, motivate, and/or excite them into actually doing the work (running, volunteering, donating) -- it's a constant battle, but we have staff (and committed super-volunteers) to help us get there. The Green Party might have politically-minded people who are willing to do the work, but they don't seem to have an organization to make it happen. And so it appears like they are all talk and no work.
Feb 26, 2016 Julie in Eugene commented on A Dissenting View on Hillary Clinton and Marriage Equality.
I'm also 100% bitankual, in that there are things I love (and dislike) about both candidates, but will support the nominee. But... I'm sorry. I am rolling my eyes at "Bernie Sanders, who always takes the correct position." Always! Has never voted the wrong way or taken a position I'd disagree with in his 35 years in public office! Is practically perfect in every way!

I mean, come on. No one is perfect. In particular, in politics, where compromises often have to be made, and we sometimes have to accept the good in lieu of the perfect (or, where elected officials sometimes vote their district, like with Bernie and guns).
Aug 8, 2015 Julie in Eugene commented on Black Lives Matter Activists Interrupt Bernie Sanders at Social Security Rally.
I don't have any issues with them interrupting and demanding the mic. It's pretty kickass I think, and it's right that activism should be disruptive. But.... I don't know. I watched the video and... he was going to let them speak. So... why continue to argue/fight after that? Demand the mic, say what you want to say, have the moment of silence and then... mission accomplished? You still get the media coverage for disrupting, you get to say what you want to say, Sen. Sanders still gets to speak, and everyone probably leaves feeling pretty positively about BLM. I guess I feel like you can be disruptive without being an asshole to people, and I'm not sure they accomplished that...
Jan 6, 2015 Julie in Eugene commented on SL Letter of the Day: Basic Bastards.
Somewhat off topic, but this is a great podcast about the need to educate, and the impact of doing so:


A black musician befriends several KKK members, and over the course of many years, influences them to quit. I happened to listen to it today, right before I saw Dan's tweet about the deBoer essay.
Oct 14, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on SL Letter of the Day: My New Girlfriend's Sister Is Dying.
I would go. But absolutely agree that you must not in any way shape or form be a burden on her. No expectations, no complaining, no needing anything from her. If you aren't familiar with the "comfort in / dump out" framework for supporting someone during a time of grief or illness, read this before you go.

There is definitely risk here, to be clear. If you aren't successful in being need-free and completely supportive, she could really begin resent you and that would be the end.
Sep 26, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on Facebook Fails to Explain Its Discriminatory and Dangerous 'Real Names' Policy.
I'm thinking about the people I know on FB who have fake names. A high school teacher who doesn't want her students to know she's on there. A friend's mother who is in her 70s and still suspicious of technology / identity theft. Neither name is obviously fake, so they'll never be caught... This really is a terrible policy. Why not just deal with the specific cases of people using fake names for evil purposes, as opposed to just banning all fake names?
Aug 27, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on Kid Comes Out, Family Disowns Him.
Reminds me of a Moth radio story from a couple of years ago about a man coming out to his parents. I got to the end of it and just thought, what a waste. What a fucking waste. This person disowned her son over nothing. Over this, ultimately, completely meaningless thing (in the grand scheme of things, anyways).

Hope the kid's okay. Physically and psychologically...
Aug 27, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on What Kind of Idiot Gives a Nine Year Old an Uzi?.
Oops. You weren't talking to me. Alright then. Sorry for the poor reading comprehension.
Aug 27, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on What Kind of Idiot Gives a Nine Year Old an Uzi?.
@77 - Yeah, I feel like I dragged this a little off-topic, but alpine slides are not roller coasters. They are more like safer, slower versions of a luge (you're sitting up in a sled, with complete control over accelerating and braking) on a concrete track vs. ice. You can definitely get hurt on them if you're not careful -- almost everyone in my family has flipped a sled at one point or another and walked away with some nasty concrete burns/scars.

I guess the point is, the rules said my nephew was ok to go by himself, and we made a judgment call that he could handle it. We coached him, and my brother went ahead of him with me immediately behind him to limit the risk from/to other riders. But still, he could have gone too fast and crashed. Afterwards we felt pretty stupid that we had let him go (he is a bit of an adrenaline junkie so... we should have known better), and were just really glad that nothing happened.

We might have been lulled a bit by the fact that he technically exceeded the height/age requirements... so I get how that might have contributed to these parents' decision. That said, a 9-year old with an Uzi just seems flat-out crazy to me.
Aug 27, 2014 Julie in Eugene commented on What Kind of Idiot Gives a Nine Year Old an Uzi?.
I'm somewhat sympathetic to the view that "if the age limit is 8, it must be safe for my 9-year old to do it." But, for the life of me, I just cannot imagine ever thinking it would be a good idea for a kid that little to shoot a fully automatic gun.

Hell, not even remotely comparable, but my 6-year old nephew went on an alpine slide for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was not only allowed, but mandatory that he go on his own sled. We figured out pretty quickly that he didn't have the judgment/coordination/whatever to handle it by himself, so he didn't get to go again. Just because something's legal doesn't mean it's safe for every kid...